So, today is my birthday. No need to make a big fuss about it, I sure haven’t. Something about turning another year older that isn’t as appealing as it was at 25. All anyone needs to know is that I am 29. They don’t need to know how many times I have turned 29.
To mark the occasion, I thought I would make a little something for myself. In college, whenever one of our roommates had a birthday we would make them a funfetti cake. Even though it’s been a while since college, I thought I would attempt to make a funfetti cake from scratch. I definitely don’t have anything against the boxed cake mix (see Friday’s post)- we went through plenty of those in college – but I wanted to try something a little different this time around. Mainly so I could control exactly how much “fun” was going in the funfetti.
I started with a simple white cake batter, then folded in a ton (about a cup) of rainbow sprinkles. I wanted this cake to be loaded with sprinkles. It’s not every day you turn 29 (for the third time).
Since I was making this cake for myself (which my husband thought was a bit pathetic until he remembered that I love to bake, so baking a cake for myself it the ultimate treat), and I certainly don’t need a WHOLE cake I decided to make a little mini cake, instead. To do this, I baked the cake batter in a rectangular pan, then cut out 4″ circles with my biggest round cookie cutter.
After leveling the little round pieces of cake so that they were all 1″ high, I stacked them just like any other layer cake, with a generous layer of buttercream in between. I gave the little cake a good crumb coat, let it chill, then slathered on another layer of buttercream. Fortunately, this buttercream did not need to be perfect because my plan was to cover then entire thing with even more rainbow sprinkles.
I very carefully and expertly placed each rainbow sprinkle on the buttercream so that it was evenly coated. Psych! I basically dumped my entire container of sprinkles over the cake and hoped that some would stick. Whatever didn’t stick, I just pressed into the cake, haphazardly, with my hand.
And now I have my very own personal funfetti cake! Just the right amount of cake for me. This could feed 2 to 4 people, but of course I ate the whole thing myself (over the course of a couple days – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Hell, it’s my birthday! If I want to eat a whole cake, I will! At least it’s just a miniature cake, right?
- 5 egg whites
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp whole milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup, plus more, rainbow sprinkles
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and/or parchment paper
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until they form stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Then scrape whisked egg whites into a separate bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the same bowl, add the softened butter and beat with the paddle attachment until soft and fluffy. Slowly beat in sugar until combined.
- Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until almost all the flour is incorporated. Add the vanilla to the milk, then pour in half of the milk mixture and mix. Repeat with flour and milk, then end with mixing in the remaining flour mixture.
- Once flour and milk are fully incorporated, fold in the egg whites a third at a time. To fold, gently scrape around the bottom of the bowl in a circular motion, lifting the mixture from the bottom to the top. Do this until egg whites are incorporated, and then repeat with remaining egg whites.
- When adding in the last third of the egg whites, also pour in the rainbow sprinkles and fold them all in together.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely, then place in the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes.
- Once cake has chilled, cut out 4" rounds using a large cookie cutter. With a serrated knife, remove the browned portion of the bottom of the cake, then level the top of the cake so the round is about 1 inch tall. Wrap all cake rounds in plastic wrap and chill for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Using the stand mixer or hand held mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix in vanilla. Beat the sugar and butter until thick, yet fluffy.
- Remove the cakes from the freezer. Place one round on the bottom of the cake stand. Pipe or spread about 3 tablespoons of buttercream on the top of the round. Place another round on top and repeat with buttercream. Place another round on top. Then lightly ice the cake in a thin layer of buttercream to capture all the crumbs. Let cake chill for about 10 minutes to allow the buttercream to firm up.
- Remove the cake from the fridge or freezer and generously ice the whole cake in buttercream. To add the sprinkles, Tilt the cake to one side and press and hand full of sprinkles into the buttercream. Rotate the cake until all sides are covered. Spoon the sprinkles onto the top of the cake, then spread out and press in with your fingers.